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Steven Croft celebrates testimonial with Lancashire County Cricket Club

PUBLISHED: 11:30 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 15 March 2018

Steven Croft

Steven Croft

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Blackpool-born cricketer Steven Croft speaks of his pride at being awarded a testimonial year

Steven Croft celebrates a century against Surrey at Old Trafford last season Photo: Simon Pendrigh simonpendrigh.comSteven Croft celebrates a century against Surrey at Old Trafford last season Photo: Simon Pendrigh simonpendrigh.com

Lancashire cricketer Steven Croft is hoping this will be a big year on and off the field. The all-rounder, who has been a fixture in the side for more than ten years, has been awarded a testimonial year which kicked off in style at an event in the members’ lounge at Old Trafford.

Croft, who started his career as a junior at Blackpool and now lives near the cricket ground in Lytham, is the first player to be awarded a testimonial by the club since Jimmy Anderson in 2012. He said: ‘It’s a great honour for me. Anyone who knows me will know how much this club, and everything it stands for, means to me, so I’m very humbled by this decision.

‘It has been a dream come true to play for the county. I’m incredibly proud to walk out with the Red Rose on my chest and all I want is for Lancashire to be successful.’

Croft, who studied at Highfield Humanities College in Blackpool and Myerscough College in Bilsborrow, made his debut for the Lancashire Second XI as a16-year-old after progressing through the Old Trafford academy.

He took his first team bow in 2005 and went on to play a major part in the club’s County Championship success in 2011 – the first time they’d won it outright since 1934 – and their victory in the T20 competition in 2015.

He has spent the last couple of seasons as captain and, although he has officially been replaced as skipper by young batsman Liam Livingstone, Croft is likely to assume the duties again this season when Livingstone is involved with the England team.

‘Not being the captain this year might be a blessing in disguise,’ he said. ‘I still wanted to do the job but the club saw things differently and that will hopefully allow me to concentrate on my own game.

‘We always want to improve on the previous season and we have strengthened the side since finishing second last year, so I’m hopeful it’s going to be a good season. In four of the last six years, the side that finished as runners up has gone on to win the league the following year.’

Events planned for the year by Croft and his testimonial year committee include charity cricket matches at Lytham and Blackpool, a golf day at Stockport Golf Club in September and an afternoon with player-turned-commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, at the Lowry Hotel in June. The 33-year-old has also started a round of Q&A sessions at cricket clubs around the county and is planning a darts night and a charity football match between a Lancs XI and a side put together by former Blackpool player Charlie Adam. Money raised during his testimonial year will go to Brian House Children’s Hospice in Blackpool where Croft is a patron, and The Professional Cricketers’ Association benevolent fund which helps players and their families in times of need. Lancashire chief executive Daniel Gidney, said: ‘Steven has been a magnificent servant to the club over the last 12 years and he has been at the very heart of Lancashire’s success. He is 100 per cent a team player and a great role model. He has led the team fantastically well and we hope members and supporters will get behind Steven throughout his testimonial next year.’

If you are interested in sponsorship in the testimonial year, or have enquiries, you can contact the organisers via StevenCroftTestimonial2018@gmail.com

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